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Original post made
on Jun 17, 2013
Here's how this is gonna go: All the people that will benefit from the plan will argue its a great idea. Those who might be negatively impacted will say its a terrible idea. When giving reasons, neither side will state the truth "I'm opposed/in favor of this because I'm selfish and this is good/bad for me personally."
Complete waste of time until council realizes that pay per hour machines are needed in each city garage and lot. Meters would work too.
There seems to be absolutely no understanding that many people don't park all day every day. They park a few times a week or month for a whole day, or they need 4 hour parking or whatever.
I am often in downtown Redwood City and I can always park close to where I need to go and the meters take small change. Not a problem. Downtown Palo Alto is a big problem for me when I need to park for more than 4 hours every now and then.
The fundamental problem is that the City has approved a large number of University Avenue area office developments which don't include parking for their tenants. This has resulted in a "Parking Deficit" of around 1,000 spaces downtown (the city's estimate -- some private ones are higher). This is a very large shortfall, but is still growing rapidly as several more large "Parking-Exempted" developments are already underway, and yet others are in various stages of approval.
For more information see www.paresidentsfirst.org
Won't restricting downtown parking just push the cars east of Middlefield?
Mike - yes that could absolutely happen; that's why Crescent Park is part of the discussion group.
In fact, it's starting to happen anyway. DTN and DTS are already 80%+ and 50%+ parked out respectively. As a result of more parking-exempted development now underway or scheduled, 500-1000 more "excess" cars will be looking for neighborhood spaces over the next three years (Neilson and the City are working on an exact projection of this). The parking utilization in the nearer parts of Crescent Park is already rising.
I don't know what the answer is. The fact is that the city has allowed, and as of this moment continues to allow, a very large amount of office construction without parking. That's against zoning code; but many exemptions have been granted, and as of this moment continue to be granted. We're all hoping to hear a cogent and quantitative solution from the Planning Department tonight (and tomorrow night for DTS).
Two suggestions -
Residential parking permits for one side of the street.
Require developers to actually build enough parking for all their employees AND any clients/customers.
Downtown Menlo Park has just changed 2 downtown lots to pay-to-park. First 2 hours free, then pay. I don't know why Palo Alto can't be more creative with how they manage downtown parking. We clearly need meters and overhaul of permit parking system.
Instead of requiring developers to find more and more parking spaces for their oversized projects the city could require them to build within the allowed zoning, but again and again the city council overrules the zoning and allows projects that can't physically provide enough parking, so more and more cars spill over into the residential neighborhoods, which are approaching capacity.
Making it difficult to park on streets is not the answer.
Making it simpler and cheaper to park in the lots is definitely part of the answer.
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